The importance of being kept in the loop about what’s happening in your project, particularly when things aren’t going so well
You need to be aware as soon as possible if there are any issues or problems that could cost you more money or more time. It’s no good having a consultant who is afraid of letting you know when something has gone wrong or is not going to plan. The longer it takes to hear about unresolved issues, the higher the costs in the long term.
Choosing a consultant who is a good communicator
When choosing a project manager, you are essentially interviewing a key person who will be instrumental to the success of your project. Don’t choose a consultant based on how good they say they are. Speak to past or current clients about their experience and they are likely to give you honest feedback regarding the consultant’s strengths and weaknesses. A few questions you may ask:
- What is the Project Manager like to deal with?
- Did he provide prompt feedback concerning delays and roadblocks or did he downplay the issues?
- Is he experienced in property development?
- Is he knowledgeable with the Planning Scheme and local and state legislation?
- Did he fight for better approval conditions on your behalf?
- Did he do what he said he would do?
- Would you use him as a Project Manager on your next project?
The cost of choosing a consultant who is a poor communicator
Most developers get involved with land subdivisions whilst juggling other business interests. Whether you are experienced and just plain busy; or new to property development, having a project manager who communicates honestly and regularly is vital for the success of your project. Not knowing what’s going on means not having control over decisions that are being made on your behalf…or even IF any decisions ARE being made.
Poor communication can delay decision making, which in turn affects timelines. Time is of the essence because the longer the project takes, the longer you are paying holding costs (interest on loans for land purchase, construction costs, consultant’s fees etc) and the longer it takes to get a return on the project. The quicker you complete the project the more you minimise these costs.
Expect your consultant to provide advice as well as feedback
Often a developer uses a consultant to gain approvals and the approval is simply handed over to the client without any further advice on whether the conditions are appropriate, fair and relevant or whether the conditions can be improved.
Communication is vital from start to finish, from land acquisition and development approvals to design approvals, construction management and all the way through to gaining titles on the land.
During construction when the project manager is superintending a contract you can expect to be invited to attend a fortnightly project meeting with the project manager and the contractor. If unable to attend, expect to receive the minutes from that meeting, to keep you informed on the progress of the project.
Being in the dark and feeling out of touch with what’s going on creates a huge amount of stress and frustration.
ESQ’s Service Promise regarding client communication
‘Communicating regularly with project updates and fostering trust through complete transparency and honesty, responding quickly to calls and emails within 24 hours’
Whether you are looking for a potential development opportunity, or you have an existing property that you are considering developing, Engineering Solutions Qld has a service strategy to suit your project needs. Whether it is a small residential, commercial, industrial or a large-scale land subdivision, we have the knowledge and expertise in consulting engineering and project management to guide you through your development journey.